In the summer of 2015, Josue Soto was taken on trial with Queretaro FC’s U-20 side after a successful performance at SoccerViza’s Dallas combine. After impressing on trial, Josue was signed for the 2015/16 season, where he went on to become a 90-minute left back option, as well as slotting into the center of the midfield during key games, such as the U-20 National Championship against Tijuana. Tijuana stacked their roster with U.S. Youth National Team players dropped down from the first team for the occasion, but Queretaro overcame the odds and went on to lift the trophy.
“It was a dream come true,” Josue told SoccerViza.
“Since the moment I stepped into Queretaro’s headquarters I wanted to make an impact because of my age... I know a lot of the players start a lot younger and around my age they’re already playing with national teams and have bigger things going on. I think since the beginning we all had that same dream and same goals as a team.
“Ending our first tournament, coming in first place and beating some of the bigger teams that Queretaro was afraid of in seasons before… that was huge. Then in the second tournament we made a bigger impact and I’m proud to say that I know I gave it all that I had and the team did as well. And together we accomplished bigger things and made history. It was a sensational feeling.”
It was the beginning of a dream summer for Josue, who returned to his family in Southern California to wait for news on his future with the club. With Mexico’s new rules on foreign players and dual citizen players, it was potentially going to be a long and dramatic saga. While options were being prepared elsewhere though, word finally came back from Mexico that gave Josue a choice to play with Cimmarones de Sonora, a relatively new addition to Mexico’s second flight, Ascenso MX.
“I got home after the final, got to see my family and get a short vacation, and then it was a waiting process. I had gone home with the mentality that hopefully, God willing, something would happen. Thank God this opportunity came about. They asked me what I thought about it, they gave me the option of coming out here to Sonora or playing with our second division team. I decided to take the route of coming to play with Sonora.”
Josue took his option to sign his first truly professional contract with the first team at Queretaro FC and to go on loan to Sonora in order to gain experience and continue honing his craft in the Mexican system. The plan is to be thrown in the fire in what will surely amount to a relegation battle for Sonora, as they look to remain in the second tier. Getting experience with a club fighting for survival is being seen as a key component to quickly gaining the requisite experience to be recalled to Queretaro in the winter window.
With a new team comes new opportunities for growth, which Josue is taking advantage of to his fullest capability as the season unfolds.
“It’s an opportunity to grow,” Josue commented. “It’s an opportunity to learn from a lot of players around me who have a lot of professional experience. There veterans on this team have seen a lot, from top level play to National Team play, and it’s a tremendous opportunity to learn from day in and day out, and I’m blessed to have the chance to compete against them for a spot each week.”
The objective for the season is to gain minutes, which he did this past weekend as he made his debut for Sonora against recently relegated Leones Negros, a game which ended in a 1-1 draw. While the goal is to do well and impress, earning an opportunity to be recalled to Queretaro for the second tournament, he’s seizing the current opportunity at Sonora to make an impact and leave a positive impression on his new, and for the time being, temporary home.
You can follow along with Josue’s progress through SoccerViza’s social media.